Secret Norton restoration video. I posted this when it came out but it makes me ponder a grander philosophical question.

This is one of the all time great Christmas motorcycle present video’s ever.   It chronicles how two sons secretly restored an old Norton that (while obviously cherished by their father) was sitting in boxes in his basement.  When they surprise him with it he completely chokes up.  It’s a really great story with a heartwarming ending.

But it makes me wonder, why do we let so many great memories that we cherish so dearly and which bring us such joy waste away in out basements and garages?  nine times out of ten it’s not the money.   Are we lazy?  Do we think we’re immortal?

I don’t know…  Anyway, if you have an old project sitting in a shed or basement or rental unit, go fix the damm thing and enjoy it while you still can.  You really can’t take it with you.



A beautiful pre production1948 500t (trials) Norton from an upcoming “Harry Lindsay Collection” auction. Courtesy of Bonhams.

Gorgeous. Click through for a nice high resolution image. They do get quite the bikes.

Over 30 motorcycles from the collection of the Irish motorcycle legend, Harry Lindsay, are to feature in Bonhams next auction at the Classic Motorcycle Show in Stafford, on 29th April 2012. The collection is expected to fetch over £200,000 in total.  Highlights include an ‘as new’ McIntosh Norton 500cc Manx (£25,000-30,000) together with a matching McIntosh Norton 350cc Manx (£22,000-27,000).
Bonhams is delighted to announce the consignment of the Harry Lindsay Motorcycle Collection. Harry’s family has long been synonymous with motorcycle production, racing and sales, his grandfather responsible for the creation of one of Ireland’s earliest motorcycles: the ‘Celtic’.
In 1926 Harry’s grandfather and father set up premises in 26 Great Ship Street, Dublin, the same premises from which Harry acted as Irelands major importer of Bultaco motorcycles and Honda spares, forging a lasting relationship with Snr Bulto, and entered Bultacos in the 1967 Production 250cc TT, riders Bill Smith and Tommy Rob placing 1st and 2nd, together with the Australian Kevin Cass placing 6th after engine trouble.
Harry was the Republic of Ireland’s Vincent agent and a good friend of Philip Vincent, and can lay claim to being one of only a handful of riders fortunate enough to ride Reg Dearden’s supercharged Vincent Black Lightning. Cousin of Reg Armstrong (Senior TT winner in 1952), Harry taught Reg to ride during ‘The Emergency’.  One of Harry’s closest friendships was with Stanley Woods, Harry and Stanley taking turns to visit one another at weekends.  Harry would insist on there being a subject to discuss during their visits, many of which are detailed in his book.
Harry comments on the sale, “So now after all my enjoyments, disappointments, interests and satisfactions the time arrived to make a decision. I did make that decision and that was to let the bikes go to be enjoyed by others of equal interest and lesser years.  I am now in my eighty sixth year and I would love to know what happens to them (motorcycles).”
The collection of over 30 motorcycles includes an ex-Stanley Woods/Bert Perrigo 1939 BSA 350cc B25 Competition Motorcycle  (£8,000-12,000); an ‘as new’ McIntosh Norton 500cc Model 30 Manx (£25,000-30,000) together with matching McIntosh Norton 350cc Model 40 Manx (£22,000-27,000); 1912 Rudge Whitworth 499cc (£8,000-12,000); a brace of Norton 500Ts including the 1948 Rex McCandless-designed pre-production model supplied by Norton to Chick Gibson (£7,000-10,000) and a circa 1928 Dunelt 499cc (£6,000-8,000) to list but a few.
Further early consignments to the sale include a c.1900 Singer Gents Motor Bicycle (£19,500-23,000); Sammy Miller restored 1904 Humber 2¾hp (£17,000-20,000); 1912 Matchless 8hp Model 7B (£14,000-18,000); One of four constructed, c.1958 Benelli 248cc Grand Prix racing motorcycle (£70,000-100,000); a particularly rare 1961 Fruin 200cc four-cylinder racing motorcycle (£8,000-10,000); 1992 Titchmarsh Seeley-Matchless 496c G50 Racing Motorcycle (£6,000-8,000); Matching numbers, 1937 Brough Superior 980cc SS80 (£30,000-35,000); Fully restored 1955 Vincent 998cc Series D Black Shadow (£60,000-70,000); 1936 Vincent-HRD 499cc Series A TT Replica (£30,000-36,000); 1928 Grindlay-Peerless 346cc (£5,000-6,000) and the Ex-Gerald Selby 1937 Rudge 499cc Ulster TT Replica (£4,500-5,500);
One of our premier motorcycle sales, the Stafford Spring Sale is the event at which to buy and sell pioneer, vintage and collectors’ motorcycles. To consign a machine to the sale or to discuss in confidence any aspect of buying or selling collectors’ motorcycles at Bonhams please contact our London office or visit our website for details of your nearest representative:
Image caption: Pre-production, 1948 Norton 500T Trials (£7,000-10,000)
For further press information and images please contact Katherine Boyle on 0207 468 8363 or /
Notes for Editors
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

Regular contributor Chuck Lathe sends in some choice pics from a recent show.

Well I’m back from a nice but very windy weekend and I owe you folks some pics. The inbox is brimming so lets get to it.

By the way, all the best thoughts to the folks in tornado country for the recent troubles. Crazy stuff for sure.

Chuck wrote in:

Hey Steve,
We rode down to the Progressive Motorcycle Show in Charlotte on Saturday and I thought you might like these. They are, of course, a Bonneville Street Tracker, a Norton 961 Cafe Racer, and a Ducati 916, and a 1968 Yamaha DT-1 . The Bonneville has a trick frame and either a new or modified single shock swing arm, but a tiny little oil cooler.
Regards, Chuck Lathe North Carolina

Thanks again Chuck!